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Five year global reef research expedition to start in the Bahamas

By Leonard Ho - Posted Apr 08, 2011 08:00 AM
The Living Oceans Foundation has chosen The Bahamas for the opening of its Global Reef Expedition, a five year, world–wide study of the health of the coral reef environments. More information and the full news release after the jump

 

The Global Reef Expedition is a well-funded, well-equipped international scientific venture for the purpose of researching the state of today's coral reefs.  At their disposal is the 220 foot Golden Shadow - a science and logistical support vessel designed and dedicated specifically for this expedition.

The expedition will begin its research in the Caribbean for 2011 to 2012, followed by the Pacific for 2012 to 2014, and concluding in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea in 2015.  Scheduled research sites include the Bahamas, Great Barrier Reef, Indonesia, Marshall Islands, Johnston Islands, Palau, the Maldives, and the Red Sea.

For more information about this expedition, visit http://www.globalreefexpedition.org/

 

NEWS RELEASE


 

NASSAU, Bahamas, April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Living Oceans Foundation has chosen The Bahamas for the opening of its Global Reef Expedition, a five year, world–wide study of the health of the coral reef environments.

In making the announcement, Captain Philip Renaud, USN (ret), the Foundation's Executive Director, noted that up to 80 percent of all life on the earth is found in the oceans, and that the health of the coral reefs is critical to the health of many species that inhabit the oceans.

Under the banner of Science Without Borders®, the ambitious Global Reef Expedition will be outfitted, equipped and financed by the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, which is headquartered in the Washington DC suburb of Landover, Maryland.

The Global Reef Expedition will begin with six months of research in strategic parts of The Bahamas, beginning with the Cay Sal Bank April 26 to May 18. It will then travel to the southernmost district to study the Hogsty Reef and other areas off the Inagua Islands in August, and then on to Andros and Abaco in October.

The Expedition will spend 10 days studying coral reefs in St. Kitts and Nevis in June in-between coral reef research in The Bahamas.

Bahamian scientists will be part of the Bahamas research. They will be joined by 13 other scientists from the United Kingdom, the United States and Colombia aboard Golden Shadow.

The Expedition will spend 10 days studying coral reefs in St. Kitts and Nevis in June in-between coral reef research in The Bahamas.

With the support from governments of sovereign countries around the world, future legs of the Expedition will bring its teams of scientists and professionals to Jamaica, Colombia, the Galapagos Islands and then on to French Polynesia and the Great Barrier Reef.

The highly equipped, specially outfitted 220 foot research vessel, Golden Shadow, will be operating headquarters for the Expedition. The ship will be in port Nassau from April 4-9, 2011 before it begins coral reef studies in remote areas of The Bahamas.

The founder of the Living Oceans Foundation, Saudi Arabia Prince Khaled bin Sultan, said, "It is not always clear to the casual observer that ocean health is in serious trouble. But it is. If we do not take aggressive steps to care for our ocean now, our inaction will have dire consequences for the future. Our children and grandchildren will certainly suffer the consequences. Over the past 50 years, 20 per cent of coral reefs worldwide have died. It is conceivable that over the course of one human lifetime more than half of coral reefs worldwide will no longer exist."

The good news, Prince Khaled said, is that it is not too late to reverse the decline in ocean health. He stressed that "we must raise public awareness about the coral reef crisis and educate people about the solutions."

The primary scientific goals of the Expedition are to map and characterize coral reef ecosystems, evaluate their current status and major threats, and identify factors that enhance their capacity to resist, survive and rapidly recover from major disturbance events. This information is critical for developing sound management strategies for coral reefs.

The resulting scientific information will be shared freely with involved parties and the scientific and regulatory communities.

Coral reefs are highly valued for their biological, cultural and economic resources, as well as their aesthetic qualities. Although coral reef ecosystems occupy less than one quarter of one percent of the marine environment, they provide essential habitat to more than 25% of all known marine fish species. They are often referred to as the rainforests of the marine world because of the vast number of species found here and because coral reef ecosystems are highly important to mankind.

They provide food, employment, recreation, coastal protection and medicines, and sustain livelihoods and economic development. According to one estimate, coral reef ecosystems provide approximately US $375 billion per year in goods and services.

About Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, founded by HRH Prince General Khaled bin Sultan, was incorporated in California as a 501(c)(3), public benefit, Private Operating Foundation in September 2000. Headquartered in Washington DC, the Living Oceans Foundation is dedicated to the conservation and restoration of living oceans and pledges to champion their preservation through research, education, and a commitment to Science Without Borders ®.

Science Without Borders ® is the overarching theme of the Foundation, where scientists come together from different countries to solve a common problem – the threats to the world's coral reefs. Science Without Borders ® is registered to the Foundation for financial sponsorship of marine conservation programs and scientific research and to promote public awareness of the need to preserve, protect and restore the world's oceans and aquatic resources.

For more information, visit http://livingoceansfoundation.org, or http://globalreefexpedition.com

Media Contact:
CAPT Philip G. Renaud, USN (ret)
Executive Director
Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation
8181 Professional Place, Suite 215
Landover, MD 20785
(301) 577-1288
prenaud@livingoceansfoundation.org
www.livingoceansfoundation.org

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com.

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